Demonstrative blog review: Roxy’s blog – with its good parts and things to improve

Hello, in this blog post I analyze the blog of Roxy. Find out bellow why I appreciate the web site, and still think that it can improve.

Copywriting

+You have a lot of content on your blog, that’s good;
1. I would work more on details – punctuation, use of Capital Letters;
2. I see a lot of times an attitude which is similar to – “Why bother?”; an answer to this would be – “Just because”; try a bit more to make things right;
3. No diacritics? Why no diacritics?
4. The theme is only partially translated, there are still a lot of areas to work on;
5. You mix a lot English with Romanian, and that is not that nice;
6. You use bolded text a bit too much;

Design


+A coherent use of color on the blog, with a predominance for blue; it’s fine;
1. It all seems so crowded; wherever I look, it seems to me that you wanted to put even more; “Oh, I want this; yes, this too; aha, this also”; I would look for a solution to simplify the look on my blog;
2. You have two horizontal menus:

, which is too much for my taste;
3. If you have no image to show for a blog post, “Image pending” is a bad image replacement, I’d look for another way to present this; or perhaps use a site like sxc.hu to give each blog post a photo;

SEO
+I like that you have a well positioned blog on the search engines;
1. I don’t think you need the plugin for WordPress which adds .html to each page;
2. If you use it properly, All in one SEO pack can be a nice plugin;
3. I think it’s best to have some keywords in the ALT text for images, sometimes you lack this;

Usability

+I love the fact that you have subscriptions to your blog via RSS and email and the search box is in the upper right corner;
1. I don’t think most of your viewers need the meta box, it’s only for you to login, I would take it out and only use a bookmark on my browser to login;
2. The categories seem to be more important than the pages on your blog (on the two horizontal menus); I’d make the situation a bit different;
3. If all the blog posts are written by you, what’s the use of “Posted by admin” texts?
4. How about having a link for subscribing to the RSS feed with comments of each blog post?

The structure of information

+I love the way in which you categorized the blog posts on categories;
1. I’d put all the advertisements in one section;
2. The footer takes too much screen estate;
3. The dropdown for selecting a page on your blog:

is not very clear; I don’t imagine very fast what the dropdown does; I’d use a structure similar to:
1, 2, 3, .. 5 .. 8, 9
4. Why the need for both a Donate page and a Donate button in the footer?

The logo

+The character in the picture seems very friendly;
+Nice pick of colors;

1. The logo transmits no other feeling than warm; Ok, it’s a friendly atmosphere, we’re cool with that; but give me more to think about; have a logo which also has an idea behind it;
2. I think I would prefer the logo to also be surrounded by a motto; more than an image, show me some text;

The statistics section

+Very good ZeList position and PageRank, congrats!

1. For me, the regular viewer of the blog, your PageRank shows little importance; if I’m a geek with interest in PageRank, I surely know methods to find out the PageRank, even if you don’t display it; I may also be disturbed to see it at each visit; and if I’m not a geek, I might not even know what PageRank is and why 4 is good (as opposed to bad) average;
2. PageRank display is mostly useful for selling links, selling advertising and (when the time will be right) selling the blog altogether; for the readers it’s pretty useless;
3. Regarding the ZeList position – this might be useful for your average reader, yet I don’t see it’s place on every page; being on 218 position, with a lot of link exchange and a long period of time since you started the blog, is not too much of an accomplishment; I would put both ZeList and PageRank information on the About page;

The other statistics section

+I, as a reader, can know very well how many visitors you have:


1. There are just too many statistics; you use GTop, HiStats, Google Analytics and a plugin which shows the number of users online; that’s four measuring statistics for one web site; too much; way too much;
2. If you display public information about your users, I’d prefer to see those statistics in Romanian; I would look for a solution to display the data in Romanian;

The blogroll

+A lot of the persons which you link to link back to you; good;

1. You leave no space between “|”, so you have, a lot of times, this thing:
“[word]|[word]”;
My suggestion is for you to have something like this:
“[word][space]|[space][word]”;
2. Having the links listed as a paragraph makes them hard to read; it’s hard for me to jump from one link to another with my eyes; my suggestion: put the links on three columns, you should have enough space for this;
3. Some blogs have no real identification – Sorin can be a lot of persons; also Pricop (which you have two in the blogroll, by the way);
4. You can use non breaking space (symbol:   in HTML) in order not to have a link that starts on one row and continues on the other;
5. Rather than listing the blogroll on all of the pages, I would make a dedicated page for the links in blogroll; you can also add to each link a small description, motivating your choice for the link’s presence in the blogroll;
6. Me, as a reader, I feel a bit cheated: you list links in your blogroll based on reciprocity – they link to you, you link to them; I would much rather prefer you to have a blogroll based on real value and your real preference for one blogger or another;

The top commentators box

+It’s very good to have such an option on your blog, very nice thing indeed;

1. The box occupies way too much vertical space, I’d look for a solution which takes up less screen estate;
2. I would explain better what “Top commentators” means – how do you define “Top”? They are in top from which perspective?
3. It’s also not clear to me on what time frame does the top apply – last month, all time, this week?

The latest blog posts / popular messages / comments options / tag option box

+I like the fading effect, nice thing to view;


1. A lot of the tags seem to be repeating:
blog, bloggeri, blogosfera, bloguri
How should I pick from the four tags above?
Also strange:
concurs, concursuri, concursuri online
2. At “popular” you list the blog posts with a lot of comments, it would be interesting also to see the list of blog posts with a lot of page views;
3. I think it’s best to leave the tab with the “Latest posts” as the default one; to me, this is the most important tab when I visit your blog, and not the list with blog posts with the most comments;

The Google advertisements

+It’s fantastic to make money out of your blog

1. From my knowledge, Google AdSense pays a rather low amount of money for each click in Romania, there are better alternatives;
2. I would put all the advertisements in one area, as opposed to putting them in various areas;

Who is Roxy?

+You present a lot of critical information on the page, well done;
1. If you ask the question in the title of the page “Who is Roxy?” and then you say:
“Nick: Roxy”,
you provide nothing more with this affirmation; so you say you are Roxy, and you are called Roxy; Ok, not that useful thing to know;
2. “2009,Pasionata” => “2009, pasionata”;
3. “P.Neamt .” => “P. Neamt.”;
4. You leave an email address; it’s best to make that email address clickable, so I can easily contact you;

Contact page

+You have both an email address listed and a contact form; well done;

1. You give 5 possible options for contact, yet you know you can’t address every possible situation a person can be in; what if I have a suggestion to your web site? What if I’ve seen a typo? What if I have a piece of news which might interest you? What if I’m an old acquaintance, wanting to get back in touch? I’d avoid having a list on my blog with contact options, simply because you can’t cover any possible situation;
2. I’d have a list of Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) linked-to on this page;
3. A picture with you and your name would also be nice, it would give me an idea who am I talking to;
4. If you use your Yahoo! Mail address for both email and instant messaging, I’d specify this;

Donations page

+It’s very good to make your viewers thinking of your need for monetizing the blog;
1. Instead of:
“doresti ca sa”,
I’d simply say:
“doresti sa”;
2. Instead of letting the visitors fill in financial data on your blog, I’d simply make a link to PayPal, and let the visitor add whichever sum he/she pleases; I personally have much more confidence to say how much money I wish to donate on a PayPal page, rather than on a typical blog I might visit;
3. I’d list the past donors on this page, both for making more people donate and thanking past donors; you might wish to ask the donors on this page to list their name, email and URL, to help you see who donated you money;

The partners page

+Very nice to have a banner exchange / banner support page;
1. Comma missing:
“blog anunta-ma”;
“asemenea daca”;
2. Too much space:
“promovezi :”;
3. It’s very bad for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes to create a banner which has, as a default, no ALT text for images; the search engines will see that there is a banner linking to your blog, but an ALT text would really make wonders in establishing what the image is about; so, read about ALT attribute on the Internet and adapt your banner;
4. The hosting of your image is this:
http://i48.tinypic.com/2vv5b85.jpg
Hypothesis: you reach a large number of persons who take your banner and place it on their blogs / sites; time passes, there is a traffic limit with tinypic, and at some point you cross that limit; tinypic will not show your banner anymore, and display an error message; the persons holding your banners don’t understand what happens and they only see an error message while displaying your banners; soon after, a large proportion of the persons displaying your banner decide to stop doing so; you have no idea that this is happening, you just see your traffic slowing down; if you do not wish my hypothesis to be true, why don’t you host your own images?

Advertising page

+It’s very good to have a page for presenting the advertising model, great job!
1. This sentence:
“Blogul http://roxy-guzzy.info este din Mai 2009 pe piata internetului.”
doesn’t say since when you started the blog, but when you have started the advertisement business; this is confusing;
2. Poor use of space in here:
“4 ,400”;
3. Regarding:
“400-1000 Pagini vizualizate”;
a. It’s best to use “de” preposition – “de pagini”;
b. I don’t think “vizualizare”  is the right word for the sentence;
c. “1000” is best written with thousands separator (“.” in Romanian): “1.000”;
d. Why Pages with An Initial Capital?
4. You say that your web site is:
“Cea mai buna modalitate pentru a face site-ul/firma ta cunoscuta.”;
On what basis do you make that affirmation? Justify your choice;
5. “Internet” is best written with Capital Letter;
6. In Romanian you can have one dot “.” or three dots “…”, but not two dots “..”; also, I’d avoid using three dots in punctuation, is shows lack of determination;
7. Regarding:
“Header: Banner / Pe fiecare pagina”:
a. I lack to see why you need “/”;
b. Why “Banner” and “Pe” with Initial Capital Letter?
8. A comma is needed in here:
“pe site trebuie”;
9. I don’t understand why you have shown your blog URL, but I can’t click on it;

The page of an article on your blog

+I like the “Share this” button on each blog post;
1. I don’t think that these are very well made tags:
“cei mai populari de pe facebook, cele mai populare vedete, Cristiano Ronaldo, top 6 vedete populare”;
2. I’d put an option for RSS subscription for the comments of each blog post; if I wish to see what do others comment on a blog post, I would like to have this option; details;

________
Bottom line: I like the blog of Roxy, she does a good job by writing on it!

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

2 Comments

  • roxy

    21 July 2010 - 20:21

    multumesc foarte mult..o sa tin cont de sfaturile tale:)

  • Olivian BREDA

    21 July 2010 - 20:25

    Cu multă plăcere, Roxy. :)

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